By Sharukh Vazifdar
A continuation of our directory of the rich and exuberant spa therapies in the country. this time the focus is on the northern region of the country
|A client experiences shirodhara at Kairali|
Increasingly, we have distanced ourselves from the unprocessed caresses of nature. When was the last time you felt the rough leathery bark of a tree, or soft mud under your feet, or wiggled your toes and splashed around on a beach, or awakened to the invigorating aroma of freshly brewed mint tea?
Coming in contact with nature’s bounty directs enhanced levels of well-being into our bodies. Most healing centres and spas use only natural or naturally derived products to help the body rejuvenate. Ranging from mud packs, ayurvedic oils, and aromatherapy, to honey and spices, the TLC given through naturally derived products, restores our bodies to their original health. Here are some of the major spas in the Northern part of the country.
Kairali offers treatments that are based on the millennia-old healing system of Ayurveda. A team of doctors and therapists, help devise the required course of treatment.
Amongst the therapies offered is abhyangam, a four-hand massage with special medicated oil that rejuvenates the body and maintains the physique. Regular treatment will keep you healthy lifelong. It has been found very effective for improving eyesight, longevity, vitality and sleep. It eliminates rheumatism, and causes the skin to glow. The sirovasti treatment involves the application of lukewarm, medicated oil to the entire head. A leather cap is then placed on the head to maintain the temperature. The course of treatment is effective for all diseases, including migraine, deafness, diseases affecting cranial nerves, facial paralysis, insanity, sinusitis, rheumatism, arthritis, and abscesses.
Mehrauli, New Delhi, (2680 1805)
|Hot stone therapy at the Haveli Hari Ganga|
Offering to help you relax in nature’s lap, Leisure Hotels’ Corbett Hideaway and the Riverview Retreat in Corbett National Park, the Naini Retreat in Nainital, the Vishranti in Dehradun and the Haveli Hari Ganga in Haridwar offer a wide range of holistic therapies and massages to soothe your spirit. Besides spa facilities, they also offer yoga and meditation sessions to effectively relax the body and still the mind.
Treatments include ayurvedic practices like abhangyam, shiro dhara and deep tissue massage. They also have a sea salt scrub, which exfoliates dead skin; a honey and sesame scrub, which heals skin and promotes new cellular growth; and a neem scrub, which repairs damaged skin and relieves pain.
The dead sea mud wrap is famous for giving the skin a glowing and youthful look. A velvety layer of this luxurious mud is applied, and as it dries, it cleanses, exfoliates and draws out toxins, hydrating and improving the flow of nutrients to the skin’s surface. Dead sea mud is a rare blend of minerals and natural salts. It contains calcium to balance, iron to strengthen and sulfates to beautify the skin.
Luxurious body soaks comprising milk, honey, oatmeal, sea salts and essential oils are another option. Milk exfoliates, softens and nourishes the skin while honey provides nutrition and protects it. Oatmeal will soothe dry and protect while sea salts detoxify and smoothen the skin.
New Delhi (4652 0000)
Located in a posh suburb of New Delhi, this spa aims to revitalise and invigorate the working professional after a rough day or week. The hot and cold stone therapy is rendered with warm basalt stones. The heat of the stones, when applied on pressure points, gently helps melt away muscle soreness and tension, revive your energies and improve blood circulation. The result is an ultimate relaxing experience. Apart from this therapy, the spa also offers aromatherapy, Swedish massage, deep tissue therapy, reflexology, and aroma facial therapy.
Greater Kailash, New Delhi (2623 2101)
Ranked amongst India’s top 10 spas, this establishment also has therapies for hair care, skin enhancement and for relaxing your hands and feet. They also offer acupressure-based foot massages, herbal baths, and oil treatments for the eyes and nose.
The choorna swedham therapy involves special herbal powders bound in a muslin pouch, soaked in warm medicated oils and applied externally in a full body massage. This is useful in treating generalized body pain, stiff joints and similar ailments. Thakra dhara is similar to shiro dhara, substituting warm milk with herbal butter milk, which has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and relieves facial skin disorders.
Njavarakizhy, a traditional massage offered at this spa, uses a muslin pouch containing “Njavara” rice from Kerala, cooked with a decoction of milk and medicinal herbs. The perspiration thus induced rejuvenates by facilitating blood circulation.
Le Meridien Hotel (2371 0101) and Ashok Hotel (2412 2921), New Delhi
|In the midst of the pizhichil treatment at Kairali|
Situated across 10,000 square feet in the hotel, The Lalit’s, atrium lobby, Rejuve is designed to incorporate natural light and is done up in soft hues and earthly tones. Apart from the regular massages, reflexology treatments and ayurvedic therapies, it has a unique set of scrubs to nourish and pamper you.
Designed to detoxify and refresh your body, the salt scrub with rose oil is made from hand-pounded salt crystals and natural volcanic pumice. This superior treatment will leave your body feeling deeply cleansed and energised, helping the skin regain its elasticity.
Using a blend of rich cane sugar, tamarind and fresh herbs, the tamarind and molasses scrub is renowned for skin toning. It is specially designed to exfoliate and stimulate the entire body.
The luxurious detoxifying Himalayan clay wrap contains an abundance of minerals, organic plants and algae residues to absorb impurities while stimulating blood circulation, helping to ease aches and pains, and relieve fatigue. After the warm mineral rich mud is applied all over the body, you are wrapped in a thermal blanket. You enjoy a head massage while the mud exfoliates your skin.
The Lalit, New Delhi (4444 7777)
A mobile spa that caters to spa parties, bridal showers, and corporate events, Tattva offers some indulgent and tempting treatments. Their hour-long sparsa massage has the finest of natural exotic essential oils, honey and milk, nourishing and revitalising your skin. The soft, warm and delicious self-healing chocolate wrap caresses the skin, awakens the senses and gives you a feeling of pure pleasure. The red wine wrap comprises of honey, red wine and rose petals, giving your skin a toned, soft and supple look.
The highly effective lymphatic drainage massage utilises light pressure as the masseur softly pumps at the lymphatic nodes in circular rhythmic movements. This removes system blockages and also has an immediate impact on the skin. The skin looks fresh, and under-eye puffiness and wrinkles dissolve dramatically. Regular practice boosts the immune system and increases metabolism, leading to good health and vitality. This treatment is recommended for those experiencing fatigue and mental stress.
New Delhi (6499 4126)
Their coconut cream and cashew scrub infuses the body with the goodness of coconut and cashews to deep cleanse and thoroughly nourish every pore. Cream from tender coconut is applied for body massage and then a natural cashew scrub is used for the body exfoliation routine, which melts away the dead cells, leaving your body soft and glowing.
A full body moisturising and nourishing treatment is provided by the aloe papaya body polish which uses the natural goodness of aloe vera known the world over for its non-oily deep moisturising abilities. Papaya acts as the perfect skin polish.
Kumkumadi thailam is an ayurvedic face oil, which contains the pure extracts of saffron along with a combination of various healing herbs. The kumkumadi facial rejuvenates the facial skin, removing signs of tiredness, stalls the aging process by removing fine lines and brightens the skin. This facial is highly recommended for mature or dry skin.
The Grand Hotel, New Delhi (2677 1234)
Apart from the usual massages, hot stone and Balinese massage, this spa has a variety of wraps and scrubs that will blow your mind away. The banana wrap has properties that help to tighten, soften, cleanse and invigorate the skin. Banana combined with oatmeal and other natural ingredients makes this excellent for skin nourishment. This mask cleanses and tightens the pores while providing vitamins to enrich the skin, leaving it soft and glowing. The rejuvenating wrap uses orange peel and fresh papaya to draw out the impurities, to tone the body and add lustre to the skin.
A natural moisturiser, honey has been used in beauty treatments for centuries. As the principal ingredient in the smoothening wrap, honey along with cream and other ingredients helps to heal and revive tired looking skin and remove fine lines. The skin is softer, refreshed and detoxified after this treatment.
Among the scrubs they offer is the spice scrub, a special blend of rare spices and herbs to energise your body. It removes dead skin without abrasion. Ginger, patchouli, sandalwood and aniseed essential oils care for and protect newly exposed skin. The pomegranate scrub harnesses the power of gentle exfoliation and antioxidant protection, giving a smooth, radiant complexion. Perfect for purifying oily skin, this formula’s fine olive stone grains and pomegranate extract deliver beautifully clear results.
The papaya whitening scrub gel is specially formulated to allow exfoliating particles to smoothly glide on, removing the darker top skin layer, while the active ingredients: papaya enzyme and hibiscus extract, help to make skin appear lighter. The chocolate almond scrub opens up pores and release endorphins at the same time. Rice powder and cocoa effectively exfoliate and cleanse deeply. Ground almonds restore lost moisture, leaving skin smooth and supple. The sea mint seaweed scrub exfoliates and leaves skin baby soft. Seaweed replenishes lost minerals while peppermint and basil essential oils detoxify and protect newly exposed skin.
|The ayurvedic spa at Corbett Hideaway has an ethereal aura|
Their wide variety of international treatments speaks for itself. Their coffee scrub and wrap are highly effective in treating cellulite, acting as an anti-toxin, and hydrating the skin. Essential oils infused with sea salt are good for cleansing and fighting cellulite.
An ancient beauty treatment that they offer is the purifying ritual for Javanese princesses as they prepared for their wedding day. Given for 40 days regularly, it consisted of Balinese massage, followed by Javanese lulur body scrub and yoghurt splash. A memorable experience and royal experience, this treatment exfoliates and polishes your skin.
The Balinese boreh ritual is taken from the traditional herbal ritual used on rice farmers after the day’s work of standing in the water tending the rice. It comprises of the Balinese massage, followed by a boreh scrub to the whole body that heats and heals. This is followed by a carrot mask to rehydrate the skin.
The warm and spicy Moroccan delight ritual cleans skin and makes it silky smooth, allowing it to adapt better to changes in season and environment. It comprises of the Balinese massage, followed by Moroccan scrub with Turkish loofah in royal jelly and culminates with a special pack.
Amarvilas and Rajvilas
Less than a kilometre from the Taj Mahal, the spa at Amarvilas allows you to treat your eyes along with your body. Recreating the magnificence of the forts of Rajasthan, Rajvilas, spread out over 32 acres, symbolises royalty and luxury. Belonging to the Oberoi chain, both these hotels have the same line of spa treatment.
The Noor-e-Taj Romance is a signature ritual which is a tribute to the beauty traditions of the Mughal royal palace. Leaving the world behind, you and your loved one indulge in a session of body-pampering therapies. The experience begins with a steam bath to open your pores and release toxins. A pomegranate exfoliation follows, preparing your skin to soak the elements as you are enveloped with a nourishing blend of pomegranate and orange to moisturise and nourish your skin. This is followed by a relaxing massage to ease away the knots and tension, and concluded with a soak in an exquisite herbal bath.
Finally a spa treatment that works on a spiritual level! The chakra balancing treatment comprises of a warm herbal poultice massage, combined with energy balancing through healing sounds and vibrations. You can enjoy the benefits of the heat and therapeutic massage as your chakras are balanced and enhanced through the resonating sound and vibrations of sacred Tibetan singing bowls.
Amarvilas – Agra (562-223 1515
Rajvilas – Jaipur (141-268 0101)
An exotic spot to unwind is Ananda, a destination spa in the Himalayas. This wellness centre is situated in a restored royal palace in the Himalayan foothills. It offers a blend of therapeutic treatments based on traditional ayurveda, yoga, meditation, reiki, and crystal healing in combination with the latest European and Thai treatments to purify the body and soothe the senses. Perched in the hills above the holy city of Rishikesh on the Ganges, Ananda is a short day’s drive from Delhi or a helicopter ride to Dehra Dun followed by a scenic drive.
Their Tibetan ritual includes five blends of wild grown organic oils being used to balance the earth, water, fire, air and ether element. The treatment begins by energising the meridians with head, hand and foot reflexology. The body is then massaged with hot Himalayan salt. The Kundalini back massage is deeply healing and revitalising to the nervous system. It includes cupping the hands and focusing awareness (and so encouraging prana) on each of the energy centres along the spine. Feel your senses come alive when the crystal healing energy fills your whole being with renewed vibrancy and pure energy. Absorb the vibrant red, orange, and yellow of the crystals as they heal the emotional potholes generated over time.
The balancing and calming chakradhara uses the flow of luke warm herbal oils over the chakras whilst massaging to restore vital energy flow and balance the fluctuation of each chakra. Hopi ear candle therapy is a wonderfully cleansing and relaxing experience. The soft crackle of the ear candle flame and scents of spicy American Indian herbs clear blockages within the ear canal. An intensely pleasant experience, bringing peace of mind and harmony to the body as a whole. This experience incorporates a reflex point facial massage which assists to clear congestion, wax build up, tinnitus, sinus problems, and migraine.
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